ROBOCOPY, FSMT, & VMware Converter Asynchronous: Part 1/3

There are a few “free” tools we can leverage to migrate a Windows fileserver. In these 3 posts I’m going to focus on three different ways of migrating from a Windows 2003 32-bit fileserver, to a Windows 2008R2 one.


ROBOCOPY is a very easy to use, file-based copy mechanism. Run from the DOS command prompt; a usable syntax is:

ROBOCOPY Z:\ D:\ /COPYALL /E /R:0 /DCOPY:T /log:rlog.txt

Run the above command from the new fileserver, where Z:\ is the source (a mapped drive to the say \\FSOLD\d$ on the old fileserver), D:\ the destination (D drive on the new fileserver), and the switches:

/COPYALL equivalent to /COPY:DATSOU where DATSOU = Data, Attributes, Timestamps, Security (NTFS ACLs), Owner, aUditing
/E for copy subdirectories, including Empty ones
/R:0 for zero Retries on failed copies
/DCOPY:T for COPY Directory Timestamps
(Optional) /log for logging to a text file

After an initial run, it is fine to simply re-run the script to copy across delta changes.

Problems you might encounter with ROBOCOPY: locked files won’t be copied, permissions issues (if the account running ROBOCOPY does not have read permission to the source files or folders then they will be skipped), and – because it is file based – it make take a very long time (especially if copying lots of very small files.)